Mideast syndicated loans rebounding: Barclays

British lender Barclays has said Middle East syndicated lending is recovering from a three-year low, as companies seek to lock in cheaper funding costs to repay debt maturing this year and in 2014. Regional loans surged nearly 50% in the first quarter from a year earlier to $15.2bn, led by borrowings from the UAE, said the CEO for the Middle East and North Africa, John Vitalo. Market conditions were now conducive to borrowing, reducing loan margins leading to an overall reduced cost to the borrower, Vitalo added. There was also a hunt for yield by the international banks given their demand-starved markets and interest from regional companies to borrow, he said.